Upgrade Current PC or Get New PC

Hi all,

I'd appreciate the opinion of more knowledgeable folks. My current PC is a Dell XPS 8500, with an i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40GHz and 8GB of RAM. The GPU is AMD Radeon HD 7500 Series.

I'd like to improve my setup with the goals of:
1) Improving my gaming experience overall
2) ability to stream play from my PC to an nvidia shield
3) capable of VR

I've spoken with Dell support, and they say the only series 10 graphics card that is known to be compatible with my PC is this $450 PNY GeForce GTX 1070 8GB RAM (http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/pny-technologies-geforce-gtx-1070-graphics-card-gf-gtx-1070-8-gb-gddr5-pcie-30-x16-dvi-hdmi-3-x-displayport/apd/490-bdnl/graphic-video-cards?ref=407_Product_TitlePdPage#polaris-pd).

I'm unsure how well my current rig would work with that GPU overall. Would my hardware be a bottleneck? Would the PC be at risk of overheating?

The alternative would be to get a new, entry/mid-level gaming desktop - I was thinking something along the lines of the Dell XPS 8910 ($965 w/ no tax), which would come with an i5-6400 Processor (6M Cache, up to 3.3 GHz), 8GB DDR4 RAM, GeForce GTX 1070 w/ 8GB GDDR5. I like this model, bc in my noob estimation, it strikes a decent balance between cost and specs, and the style isn't too...outlandish.

Any opinions?

Thanks in advance!
PD
Reply to pt001
17 answers Last reply
More about upgrade current
  1. In all honesty, it would be best if you could build your own PC, that way you wouldn't be relying on, in this case Dell, to give you configurations that may not meet your needs. To answer your question directly, a GTX 1070 would give you good 2k gaming, but would not give you full 60fps at 4k (for that you would need either a 1080 Ti or a Titan, both are much more expensive). VR capability is going to depend a lot on which games you are hoping to do VR with. I would think a 1070 would be ok for that, but, like with the 4k issue, not the most ideal graphics card for the job.

    As for the bottleneck issue, your current i7 CPU would be superior to the i5, and 8GB of RAM is pretty respectable. The real question becomes whether your motherboard will support a 1070 or not (depends on how old it is). Hope this helps!
    Reply to austintx1985
  2. The i7-3770 can pair with much stronger GPUs, and is definitely suitable for VR.

    I'd outright ignore that "advice" from Dell - that's clearly a partnership they've got going on there. If one 10 series card (like a 1070) is compatible, then all 10 series cards will have no problem (assuming the PSU is up to the task of course).

    The PSU from an XPS8500 is a 460W unit with 2x 6pin PCIe connectors. Although there is a 385W max on the dual 12V rails (32A).
    They do appear to be pretty decent quality though.

    77W TDP CPU, say 40W for the balance of the rig; you should comfortably >200W for a GPU.

    The "minimum" GPU support for VR is a 970 or 1060.
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    Video Card: Zotac - GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6GB AMP! Edition Video Card ($259.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $259.99
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-11-08 15:27 EST-0500

    Needs a single 6pin.

    You could look to a 1070, but those require a minimum of a single 8 pin - which would either necessitate a PSU replacement, or an adapter to take 2x6pins to 1x8pin (not recommended).


    As for the specific questions.
    1. an i7-3770 isn't going to bottleneck a 1060...... it might (ever so slightly) with a 1070, in certain workloads.... but not enough that I'd worry about it.
    2. The PC itself, no. The GPU might get a little warmer than optimal, but there's no way to know 100% without trying
    3. I wouldn't buy that new PC, no. The i7 you have is still a strong chip.

    If anything, I'd look to do a case transplant. Take the motherboard/CPU/RAM/HDD from the current Dell rig, and put it in a new case with a new PSU (and GPU) - with better airflow.
    Reply to Barty1884
  3. The 1070 will give you most of what you want for the least amount of money. The system you have is still a capable machine, just the video card is holding it back.
    Reply to gasaraki
  4. I've been trying to make my 3770k bottleneck my GTX 1070 because I grow fidgety not having tinkered with the motherboard/CPU on my main rig for so long (literally the longest without such an upgrade going back to the mid-90s for me). But I've yet to manage and thus find a good excuse, so frugality keeps winning over fun.
    Reply to DSzymborski
  5. Thank you all so much for your input; I really appreciate it. The consensus seems to be that my current rig is capable. After having a chat with Dell support, it does seem likely that any 10 series card ought to be compatible. That being said, one of my chief remaining concerns is overheating the GPU. Ought I look for a model with a particular type of size, fan(s), etc. (keeping in mind that the xps case is large, but not cavernous)? For instance, is a mini GPU more/less likely to overheat relative to its full size counterpart? Thanks again!
    Reply to pt001
  6. Chatted with EVGA, and they recommend the 1070 SC open-air model. The rep said that it should be compatible with my PSU (versus the FTW style which he said would not be compatible); however, he had some concerns about my motherboard's compatibility. If I verify that I have an up-to-date BIOS, should I be concerned? Thanks!
    Reply to pt001
  7. A dated OEM motherboard can have problems, but I wouldn't expect an IvyBridge era board to be of any concern.

    I would suggest you don't take the card manufacturer's word for much here........ they don't really know (nor care, ultimately) about the PSU in the Dell system.

    I assume the "SC open-air" model would be this card?
    https://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=08G-P4-6173-KR

    You'll notice from the comparison table below, that EVGA's 1070's (as do all, I believe) require a minimum of 1x8pin PCIe connector, most need 2.

    AFAIK your PSU doesn't have a single 8pin (has 2x 6pin) and, while some cards can work with 6pins populated of an 8pin connector, buying such a high-end card on the assumption that it'll just "work" (because EVGA said so) is asking for trouble.
    https://www.amazon.com/Dell-FVGCW-Power-Supply-D460AM-01/dp/B00LCAFKT8


    Luckily, it appears you can replace the PSU with a standard ATX unit, as per:
    http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19501354

    If you're replacing the PSU, and you're worried about heat inside the case - it would be a smart idea to just replace the case.
    A generic $20 ATX case (not ideal) should afford you ample room to populate with case cans etc, to keep your components cool.

    For the money, this is a great PSU:
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    Power Supply: SeaSonic - S12G 550W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply ($51.89 @ Newegg)
    Total: $51.89
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-11-08 18:36 EST-0500

    And has 2x8pin PCIe connectors, so can run any GPU you want.

    While it's very much a budget case, it serves the point - you could remove the motherboard etc, and move it to somethign like this:
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    Case: Rosewill - Galaxy-02 ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $24.99
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-11-08 18:37 EST-0500
    Reply to Barty1884
  8. Thanks, Barty1884 - I really appreciate the effort that went into your response. I will definitely take your recommendation of switching PSU and case into consideration.

    Upon closer review, the PNY model that Dell indicates is compatible with my PC (http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/pny-technologies-geforce-gtx-1070-graphics-card-gf-gtx-1070-8-gb-gddr5-pcie-30-x16-dvi-hdmi-3-x-displayport/apd/490-bdnl/graphic-video-cards), PNY part number WC2PN, appears to have a TDP of 150w (according to http://www.pny.com/geforce-gtx-1070-blower). The REF edition of the EVGA 1070 (https://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-Support-Graphics-08G-P4-6171-KR/dp/B01H74VTBK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1510190758&sr=1-1&keywords=08G-P4-6171) has a max power draw of 150 w.

    The SC edition recommended for my rig by the EVGA rep has a max power draw of 170w.

    In the interest of playing it safe, would the REF version be the one to choose?

    Thanks!
    Reply to pt001
  9. They're both single 8 pin cards so it makes little difference.

    You're unlikely to pull 170w on the evga unless you overclock it


    You're still going to need a twin 6/pin to 8 pin adapter anyway irregardless.

    You should really check the model number of your current psu.

    If it begins AC its an acbel & I'd honestly change it.
    Of it begins DP its a delta & Id trust it a whole lot more.
    Reply to madmatt30
  10. madmatt30 said:
    They're both single 8 pin cards so it makes little difference.

    You're unlikely to pull 170w on the evga unless you overclock it


    You're still going to need a twin 6/pin to 8 pin adapter anyway irregardless.

    You should really check the model number of your current psu.

    If it begins AC its an acbel & I'd honestly change it.
    Of it begins DP its a delta & Id trust it a whole lot more.


    Can't stress Matt's last section enough. The difference between the PSUs is very important; Delta has a long history of providing durable, basic power supplies for OEMs and AcBel has a long history of, well, the exact opposite of that.
    Reply to DSzymborski
  11. This may be a really stupid question - apologies if that's the case. Sounds like I could be pushing my PSU to the limit with a 1070. I typically keep two WD USB-powered external hard drives connected to the PC at all times. Would those drives significantly affect the strain on the PSU?
    Reply to pt001
  12. USB uses 5v not 12v so its not directly affecting power draw requirements of CPU & GPU.

    Also those drives are about 3 watt each so its irrelevant anyway.

    You still haven't told us your actual PSU model though ??
    Reply to madmatt30
  13. To be perfectly honest, I haven't opened the case yet - just because it's a pain to do so given the current setup. Dell says that the xps 8500 psu is part # FVGCW. Does that help clear matters up? When I Google it, I'm only finding Delta associated with it. Is there still a chance that there's an Acbel version of FVGCW?
    Reply to pt001
  14. Update: the part description associated with that Dell model # (FVGCW) is "PWR SPLY,460W,PFC,DELTA". I suppose I should just open the case and have a look to be sure...
    Reply to pt001
  15. Well youre going to have to open the case just to check how much room you have for a gpu mate anyway so yes you should.

    I don't care what dell say,some of those desktops came with an acbel 460w unit not a delta one - I know that for a fact
    Reply to madmatt30
  16. Hi,

    The only thing that could cause your system to fail is the stock Dell power supply. Whatever Video card you put in you need it's peak power draw and the peak power draw of your system as well. My system was running nicely on a 500 watt power supply until I did an upgrade to the video card then it failed to boot. A mate suggested the power supply couldn't handle the power draw of the complete system including the new graphics card. We put in his 800 watt power supply and it booted no problems. Now the question is can you source a more powerful power supply that fits in the Dell case? Your CPU & RAM are good to handle most of what you have raised in your post so at worst a newer power supply would be the answer to running better Video cards.
    Reply to Peterwolf
  17. Quote:
    The alternative would be to get a new, entry/mid-level gaming desktop - I was thinking something along the lines of the Dell XPS 8910 ($965 w/ no tax),


    time out!

    According to the specs I found for your system (ref: https://www.cnet.com/products/dell-xps-8500-mt-core-i7-3770-3-4-ghz-8-gb-1-032-tb/specs/)
    if you have 900$ to spend on possible upgrade then simply;
    change the PSu to a 750w ATX power supply since your dell XPS 8500 is a full case size.
    get the video card you want 1070/1080
    upgrade your ram to 16 GB or 32 GB of ram. (ref: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/417162/Dell-Xps-8500.html?page=28#manual)
    with DDR3-1600 DDR3 SDRAM - non-ECC (quad channel memory architecture) PC3-12800.
    get an SSD as primary drive (OS)
    Enjoy your refreshed Gaming machine for a number of years.

    you will not be able to overclock this system because it is set on a Hxx type motherboard.

    I would go with : PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant
    Memory: Corsair - Vengeance Pro 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($239.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Samsung - 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($94.99 @ B&H)
    Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1070 8GB SC Gaming ACX 3.0 Video Card ($433.79 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: EVGA - SuperNOVA P2 750W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($131.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $900.76 Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-11-15 06:55 EST-0500

    or
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant
    Memory: Corsair - Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($129.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Samsung - 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($94.99 @ B&H)
    Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Superclocked Gaming ACX 3.0 Video Card ($529.99 @ B&H)
    Power Supply: EVGA - SuperNOVA P2 750W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($131.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $886.96 Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-11-15 06:58 EST-0500
    Reply to The Paladin
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